How to master Google Drive

How to master Google Drive

Individuals and businesses of all sizes are being won over by the efficiency, functionality and ease of Google Drive.

Google’s online office tools provide users with file management, storage, and a variety of apps, which are commonly called Google Docs.

Whether you’re new to Google Drive or have been using it for years, there’s doubtless always more to learn.

To make sure you get the most out of Google’s offering, we’ve put together the top tips and tricks to help you master Google Drive:

Work offline

Google Drive makes it easy to work on the go, but you can’t always guarantee you’ll have signal. Thankfully, Google has thought about that and provided the solution as it enables you work offline.

In order to work offline, you’ll need to activate the feature by heading to Settings, clicking on the General tab, and tick the box marked Sync… Offline. Drive will then cache recent Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings to your device.

Search PDFs and images

Ever keen to make our lives easier, Google Drive can scan the text in PDFs and images to make it searchable. So, if you want to find a specific point in a PDF, you no longer have to search through the document, as Google Drive will do that for you.

To open or edit these files, right click and choose Open With and select Google Docs.

Turn your phone into a portable scanner

Unfortunately for iOS users, this feature is only on the Android app, but the Google Drive app will let users turn their phone into a portable scanner so you can scan images. You can also rotate, crop images, and create multipage documents. The scans will instantly be uploaded to Google Drive as PDFs.

To use this feature, go to the main page of the Android Google Drive app and tap the large plus icon, and select Scan from the pop-up menu.

Sec access levels

Google Drive is the perfect collaboration tool. However, there may be times when you need to limit the access level.

In Google Drive, there are four levels of document access: Is Owner; Can edit; Can comment; Can view.

Owners have the most control over the file, and can do everything from deleting to inviting more collaborators. Editors can, of course, edit the file. They can only invite more collaborators if the Owner agrees to it. Commenters can see the document and leave comments, such as suggestions. Viewers can only see the document, they cannot edit or leave comments.

However, it is worth noting that commenters and viewers can make copies of the document, so they are not completely “secure”.

Communicate while you collaborate

When you’re working remotely on a document, there are times when you will need some input from the team on a document or project. Google Docs shows your fellow collaborators in the right-hand corner as you work, and now you no longer have to open a new window if you actually want to discuss something with them.

Just click the little speech bubble icon to create an instant chat right in the document. Now you can all truly stay on the same page.

See previous versions

Whether you’ve changed direction or want to find that great source you mentioned a few versions ago, Google Drive stores older versions of files so you can go back and look at previous versions.

Open a native Drive file, go to File in the top menu, and then select See revision history. For other file types, right-click on the file in the document list and select Manage versions.

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